Friday, December 19, 2008

Product Recommendation: Fox Flux Helmet

Product Recommendation: the Fox Flux helmet

The Fox Flux is one of a number of “all-mountain” specific helmets being offered up by the major players in the helmet world, and while Fox is a late comer in helmets, the Flux has turned out to be worth the wait. The first thing that draws your attention is its good looks. It even has a removable spoiler (which isn’t near as dorky as is sounds when you see it) but under the aggressive veneer lay several features that make it great choice for a mid-priced helmet ($100).

Having run this helmet for two seasons now, I can say without reservation that this is the best ventilation I’ve ever had in a helmet. The vents are huge in size and in number, making an all day rides in the deserts of Moab and Sedona immeasurably more tolerable than with helmets with smaller vents. The vents are so large, in fact, that I’ve taken to wearing Coolmax skullcaps under it to prevent any leopard print sunburns on my bald head. Even people with hair sometimes have to be careful to avoid this on the forehead, but this is a minor inconvenience given the ventilation.

Of course, one of the things that distinguish an all-mountain helmet from a regular helmet is the added coverage further down the back of the head, and the Flux is no different. Should you perform any impromptu acrobatics sans bicycle onto a bunch of rocks you have a little extra protection for your melon, which is, albeit, small consolation at that particular moment, but you get the idea. It is advisable, however to make sure that your sunglasses play well with the extra coverage. The longer ear stems on some shades bottom out on the retention device or the helmet itself. This actually prompted me to take the ear stems on my Oakley Racing Jackets to the grinder. Glasses I’ve used with the helmets since then have worked out, however.

Speaking of retention, the way the straps anchor directly into the shell at the temples is a convenient feature that reduces the hassle of twisted straps. As far a fit options go, the Flux only comes in two sizes: small/medium and large/extra large. Yet, they seem to work out nicely for most people’s heads, and as long as that’s the case, I don’t expect Fox to expand its sizing options any time soon. One should always try a helmet on before buying anyway. Happy helmet hunting!


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